Posts Tagged ‘chess lessons’

Betcha Can’t Solve This #Chess Puzzle! 52

November 28, 2019

White to move and win!

White to move and win!

So I was just playing a game of #chess and then this happened! 33

November 12, 2019

White to move and draw.

White to move and draw.

Chess teaches inmates a different way of thinking

November 5, 2019

Chess teaches inmates a different way of thinking
— Read on www.google.com/amp/s/www.inquirer.com/life/jail-inmates-chess-tournament-upside-20191103.html?outputType=amp

“They always compare chess to the game of life,” he said. “If you make good decisions, it’s ultimately going to lead to a good outcome. You make bad decisions, it’s going to lead to bad position, and you’re going to lose the game.”

Dorian vs Fish: Hurricane on the Chessboard

September 3, 2019

img_9074

Hurricanes are one of my favorite metaphors to use while teaching chess. These massive storms arise from well known openings and thus have a predictable path for a certain amount of time. However, the path of certainty slowly gives way to uncertainty where even master meteorologists armed with powerful computers make errors in their evaluations. As with chess, the hurricane’s endgame is usually predictable based on a smaller number of variables and experience referencing similar circumstances.

Below I present a chess game analyzed as a storm. I hope you enjoy today’s lesson and consider donating to the Red Cross for hurricane relief.

[Event “Bundesliga 2012/13”]
[Site “Emsdetten GER”]
[Date “2012.12.09”]
[Round “6”]
[White “Dorian Rogozenco”]
[Black “Gennadij Lvovich Fish”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “2475”]
[ECO “E20”]
[Opening “Nimzo-Indian”]
[Variation “Romanishin, 4…c5 5.Nf3 Ne4”]
[WhiteElo “2503”]

1. d4 Nf6

2. c4 e6

3. Nc3 Bb4

4. Nf3 c5

5. g3 Ne4

6. Qc2 Qa5 

Dorian1

6… Qa5: Fish swarms early on c3.

7. Bg2 Nxc3

8. O-O cxd4

9. Nxd4 Nc6

10. bxc3 Bxc3

11. Nb3 Nd4

Dorian2

11. Nb3: Dorian becomes organized and then starts disrupting Fish’s movement.

12. Nxd4 Bxd4

13. Rb1 O-O

14. Rd1 Bc5

15. Rb5 Qc7

Dorian3

15. Rb5: The tide has turned as Dorian surges.

16. Bf4 e5

17. Rxc5 Qxc5

18. Rd5 Qb4

19. Bxe5 h6

20. Rd1 d5

21. Bxd5 Re8

Dorian4

21. Bxd5: This creates the perfect conditions for Dorian’s landfall.

22. Qg6 Qf8

23. Bxg7 Re6

24. Bxe6 Bxe6

25. Qxe6 1-0

Dorian5

22. Qg6: Finally, Dorian’s sheer force devastates the last shelter for fish. The endgame is predictably bad so Fish resigns

 

Full animation of Dorian’s hurricane on the chessboard:

imb_z2bldm

Benko’s Great Sacrifice

August 29, 2019

Chess has a rich history full of stories that I share with my students to add extra colour to our lesson material. Below is the tale of Pal Benko’s incredible life’s journey and his great sacrifice which allowed Bobby Fischer to make history.

Pal Benko was born while his Hungarian parents were vacationing in Amiens, France, on July 15, 1928. After learning how to play chess from his father at the age of eight, Pal improved quickly and impressed many during a time when the horrors of war and famine came to Hungary. At the age of twenty, Pal Benko became the Hungarian National Champion and with his chess success came the opportunity to eat and travel. At the 1952 chess tournament, Pal made his attempt to escape the suffering and defect to the West. However, Pal Benko escape was unsuccessful and he was imprisoned in a concentration camp for a grueling 16 months. After Joseph Stalin’s death, Benko was offered clemency and immediately returned to competitive chess as a means to earn food. At the 1957 Reykjavik World Student Chess Championship, Benko made his second attempt at defecting to the United States and this time he was successful.

Pal Benko in 1964.

In the decades that followed, the name Pal Benko was synonymous with chess creativity both in his opening discoveries and his artful puzzles. During the height of his career he was, easily, the most successful open tournament player in the United States winning the U.S. Open Chess Championship a record 8 times! Ironically, the most famous sacrificial move in Pal Benko’s chess career didn’t destroy his adversary but rather elevated him.

In 1970 Benko placed third in the US Championship which guaranteed him a seat in the Interzonal tournament. (Interzonal chess tournaments were tournaments organized by FIDE from the 1950s to the 1990s as a qualifying stage for the World Chess Championship.) Bobby Fischer, who at the time was taking a break from tournament chess, suddenly decided that he wanted to make a serious attempt at the World Championship. However, because of his absence from the US Championship he did not qualify for the Interzonal. In order for Fischer to enter the World Championship cycle, someone else who qualified from the United States would have to give up his seat. The US Chess Federation asked Pal Benko if he would be willing to make this sacrifice for Bobby. Pal Benko realistically knew that Fischer had much better chances than he did at the Interzonal and thus gave up his spot for the benefit of American chess. Bobby Fischer went on to win the Interzonal, the Candidates and the 1972 World Championship Match. None of this would have been possible without Pal Benko’s Great Sacrifice.

Below is a puzzle that Pal Benko stumped Bobby Fischer with in 1968. Can you solve it?

White to move and mate in 3! (Puzzle by Pal Benko)

Fastest Queen Trap Ever?

June 20, 2019

Poor Kusin managed to have his queen trapped after only four moves! This game holds the record for fastest queen trap in the history of chess and is also a really great example to show young chess players when explaining the dangers of bringing the queen out to early.

[Event "Rjasan"]
[Site "Rjasan"]
[Date "1973.??.??"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "?"]
[Result "0-1"]
[White "Kusin"]
[Black "Warfalamejew"]
[ECO "A00"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "8"]

1.e3 e5 2.d4 d5 3.Qf3 e4 4.Qf4 Bd6 0-1

Playing Blindfold Chess

May 19, 2019

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a photographic memory to be proficient at blindfold chess. The basic visualization required is really not all that different from the kind of mental exercise chess players commonly experience while calculating long endgame variations. In fact, if you’ve ever had a vivid chess dream while sleeping (quite common among my friends), you have already played blindfold chess!

Playing a chess game blindfolded (or at least facing opposite the chess board) against a class of young chess players is a sure fire way to raise the excitement level of the classroom or camp. Generally, I save such exhibitions for midway through a long camp or series of difficult lessons to add a little spice to the curriculum. In addition to adding energy to the room, a blindfold chess performance might just inspire a student to pick up the skill for his/herself which will greatly benefit their chess in the long run.

Below is my best ever such game played during the Fremont Summer Chess Camp in 2016. Enjoy…

 

[Event “Blindfold Game”]
[Site “Fremont, California (USA)”]
[Date “2016.7.13”]
[Round “”]
[White “Chris Torres”]
[Black “Intermediate Students”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Eco “C50”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]
[Source “”]

{[ ITALIAN GAME & HUNGARIAN def.,C50] [ ITALIAN GAME & HUNGARIAN def.,C50]}
1.e4 {I practice what I preach: “Open With a Center Pawn.”} e5
2.Nf3 {Knights Before Bishops.} Nc6 3.Bc4 {For a blindfold game, I chose my most comfortable structure (The Italian.)}
Qe7 {Perhaps my opponents were trying to confuse me by choosing the rare Qe7 sideline.}
4.Nc3 Nd4 {
My students have already broken two opening rules. They brought their queen out
early and now they have moved the same piece twice. Normally punishing these
mistakes wouldn’t be too difficult. But playing foreign positions with no view of the board is stressful.}
( 4…Nf6 5.Ng5 d5 6.exd5 Na5 7.d6 cxd6 8.Bxf7+ Kd8 9.Bb3 Nxb3
10.axb3 d5 11.O-O h6 12.Nf3 Bg4 13.d3 a6 14.Re1 Rc8 15.Bf4 Nd7
16.h3 Bh5 17.g4 Bf7 18.Nxe5 Nxe5 19.Bxe5 Qh4 20.Qf3 Bg8 21.Qxf8+
{1-0, Zhotev Jasen (BUL) 2086 – Ivanov Oleg (RUS) 2425 , Sofia 8/ 8/2009 It “Hemus Open” (3)}
) 5.Nd5 {In order to punish mistakes you must attack. Here, I know that their queen must
retreat to d8 in order to stop the knight from capturing on c7 with a fork.}
Qc5 {?!} {Honestly, I did not anticipate this move at all and was forced to repeat all the moves to myself outloud and calculate.}
6.Nxe5 {!} {“Whenever you’re aggressive, you’re at the edge of mistakes.”-Mario Andretti}
d6 {I hear excited chatter from my students about “winning a piece.”}
7.b4 {!} {Even when blindfolded, it’s hard to miss this obvious threat!}
Nxc2+ {Black had no choice that did not involve losing a piece or more.}
8.Qxc2 {I gain a knight without losing the initiative.} Qd4 {The queen may look threatening, but, really, she is all alone against an army.}
9.Bb5+ {At this point I couldn’t quite see the forced mate in 4 but this check seemed very promising.}
c6 10.Bxc6+ {!} {Looks impressive but really it is just the result of analyzing checks, captures and threats.}
bxc6 11.Qxc6+ {Forcing black’s king to d8 and a nice finish.}
Kd8 12.Nxf7# 1-0

Chris Torres Offers Online Chess Lessons

April 23, 2019

and would love to help your child play better chess now!

Reasons to try an Online Lesson with Chris:

1.  Follow up to in-person chess lessons to check on your child’s understanding.

2.  Live too far away to come often for private instruction.

3.  Preparing for a major tournament with a coach who has taught numerous national champions!

4.  Very cost effective. For $40 per online lesson, you can have your child learn chess from one of California’s most sought after chess coaches.

How it Works

1. Chris Torres harnesses the power of Chess.com and Wyzant to create the ultimate 21st century chess classroom.

2. After each lesson, Chris Torres will provide you with customized feedback and a study plan to take your child’s game to the next level!

3. All of Chris’ students are welcome to play slow paced (1 move per day) games with him during the week at no extra charge.

Sign up today

via https://is.gd/u5bIVd

Or by emailing Chris Torres (chesslessons@aol.com)

An Eggs-tra Special Easter Chess Lesson

April 21, 2019

happyeasterchess

In today’s chess lesson, we examine GM Julio Becerra Rivero’s egg-citing victory over IM Justin Sarkar played on Easter Sunday, 2009.

[Event “Foxwoods Open”]
[Site “Mashantucket, CT”]
[Date “2009.4.12”]
[Round “9”]
[White “Justin Sarkar”]
[Black “Julio Becerra Rivero”]
[Result “0-1”]
[Eco “D17”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

{[ QUEEN’S gam. SLAV def.,D17]}

1.d4 d5

2.c4 c6 {The Queen Gambit Declined, Slav.}

3.Nf3 Nf6

4.Nc3 dxc4

5.a4 {White interferes with black’s plan to play pawn to b5.}

Easter1

Position after 5. a4

5… Bf5 {The Czech Defence line of the Slav.}

6.Ne5

{Here white had two major choices. 6. e3 is the popular and solid Dutch
Variation. However, Sarkar chose the more egg-streme Krause Attack (6. Ne5).}

Easter2

Position after 6. Ne5

6… e6

7.f3 Bb4

8.e4 Bxe4

9.fxe4 Nxe4

10.Qf3 {?}

{10. Qf3 move is overly ambitious. Better is 10. Bd2.}
( 10.Bd2 Qxd4 11.Nxe4 Qxe4+ 12.Qe2 Bxd2+ 13.Kxd2 Qd5+ 14.Kc3
O-O 15.Qe3 b5 16.Be2 Nd7 17.Nxd7 Qxd7 18.Rhd1 Qe7 19.Kc2 a5 20.Bf3
Rac8 21.Qe5 g6 22.axb5 cxb5 23.Qxb5 Rc5 24.Qd7 Qg5 25.Qd4 Rfc8
26.Ra3 Rb5 27.Rd2 Rb4 28.Kd1 Rcb8 29.Ke2 Qb5 {…1-0, Bacrot Etienne (FRA) 2716 – Anand Viswanathan (IND) 2800 , Nanjing 10/23/2010 It “Pearl Spring” (cat.21)})

Easter3

Position after 10. Qf3

10… Qxd4

11.Qxf7+ Kd8 {What an egg-citing position!}

Easter4

Position after 11… Kd8

12.Qxg7 {??} {For peeps sake!}
( 12.Bg5+ Nxg5 ( 12…Kc8 13.Qxe6+ Nd7 14.Qxd7+ Qxd7 15.Nxd7
Nxc3 16.bxc3 Bxc3+ 17.Kd1 Bxa1 18.Nc5 b6 19.Ne6 b5 20.Be2 Be5
21.Re1 {-0.15 CAP} ) 13.Qxg7 Bxc3+ 14.bxc3 Qxc3+ 15.Ke2 Qc2+
16.Ke1 Qc3+ {1/2-1/2, Ftacnik Lubomir (SVK) 2608 – Khalifman Alexander (RUS) 2667 , Istanbul 2000 Olympiad})

Bxc3+ {!} {Punishing white’s mistake is easy like Sunday Morning}

13.bxc3 Qf2+ {White resigns.}
0-1

 

A Friendly Rivalry: Eric Schiller VS Emory Tate

January 13, 2019
week3eight

Relaxed and highly personable, Schiller bantered amiably with the audience while presenting three of his games against Emory Tate.

 

There’s an ancient Hebrew proverb that goes something like, “The Rivalry of scholars advances wisdom.” And such was the case of the rivalry between Eric Schiller and Emory Tate. So it was a very special occasion at the Fremont Summer Chess Camp when when Eric Schiller did a two-hour lesson on his three games against Emory Tate while Tate was in the room to interject his opinions. To this day, I still receive “thank you’s” from the young chess players in the room who greatly benefited from the wisdom of these two masters.

 

img_6477

Emory Tate inspiring the next generation at the Fremont Summer Chess Camp.

Below is part 2 of the trilogy of chess battles between Eric Schiller (March 20, 1955 – November 3, 2018) and Emory Tate (December 27, 1958 – October 17, 2015) with notes by Schiller.

[Event "Western States Open"]
[Site "Reno, Nevada (USA)"]
[Date "2004.10.16"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Emory Tate"]
[Black "Eric Schiller"]


1.e4 {Notes by Eric Schiller.} 
1... e5 
2.Nf3 Nc6 
3.Bb5 Nge7 
4.O-O a6 
5.Ba4 b5 
6.Bb3 Ng6 
7.c3 Be7 
8.d4 O-O 
9.a4 {A new move in this rarely explored opening. It caught me off-guard and I did
not react properly.} Bb7 {?! 9...b4 was surely the correct
plan. 9...Rb8 looks dubious because of 10.axb5 axb5 11.d5 +- }

ts1

Position after 9. a4

10.d5 Nb8 { This retreat is not justified. I simply was afraid
of the plan of maneuvering my knight to c4, because I feared
that after a capture by the bishop, and recapture with my
d-pawn, that the pawn at c4 would then be a serious
weakness. 10...Na5 11.Ba2 c5 12.b4 Nc4 13.Bxc4 bxc4 14.bxc5
Bxc5 15.Na3 +0.27 would not be so bad for Black. } 

ts2

Position after 10… Nb8

11.Qe2 bxa4 { I was thinking along the lines of my game with Nicholas
Yap. that's what happens when you win a nice game, it carries
over and the next time you use the opening you tend to play
the same way, whether or not it is appropriate.} 

ts3

Position after 11… Bxa4

12.Rxa4 d6

13.Be3 {+/= No doubt about it, White has a small advantage
here. Nevertheless, Black can whip up some serious counter
play.} 

ts4

Position after 13. Be3

13... Bc8 {?! This bishop is destined to stagger drunkenly
all over the board, without having any serious effect on
White's position. 13...Nd7 would've been a much better plan
and in that case White's advantage would not have been so
significant. } 

ts5

Position after 13… Bc8

14.Nbd2 Bd7 

15.Ra3 f5 {At this point there
really isn't any other source of counterplay.} 

ts6

Position after 15… f5



16.exf5 Bxf5
17.Bc4 Bg4 
18.h3 Bc8 
19.Ne4 h6 
20.b4 {! +/- White has a dominating position and Black is suffering under the weight of
a large number weaknesses.} 

ts7

Position after 20. b4


20... Qe8 
21.Nc5 {! A powerful move! The sacrifice cannot be accepted.} 

ts8

Position after 21. Nc5


21... Bd8 { 21...dxc5 ? 22.d6+ Kh8 23.dxe7 Nxe7 24.Bxc5 is a miserable 
for Black. } 

ts10

Position after 21… Bd8

22.Ne6 Rf6

23.Nd2 Bxe6 {!? Of course that this is not the best move,
objectively. I made the capture simply because it allowed me
to develop a plan to win White's new weakling at e6, and
possibly get some counter play going by advancing central
pawns. Other moves would have left me with a miserable
position with no real chances to establish any sort of counter
play.} 

ts11

Position after 23… Bxe6

24.dxe6 Ne7 { All I have to do is somehow advance my
pawn from d6 to d5 and everything will be fine. Unfortunately
my opponent doesn't allow me to do that..}

ts12

Position after 24… Ne7

 

25.Ne4 {!} Rf8

26.Ba2 {By the way, did I underestimate this move. At the very
end of the game you will see the point.} 

ts13

Position after 26. Ba2

26... Qg6 

27.Bc1 Kh8 

28.b5 a5 

29.f4 {!} d5 { Finally! At this point, however, the move
doesn't have much of an impact and allows the knight to take
up an even better post at c5.} 

ts14

Position after 29… d5

30.Nc5 c6 

31.Qxe5 Bb6 

32.Be3 Nf5 {? Right square, wrong piece. I could have kept the game
close by moving my rook to the square. 32...Rf5 ! 33.Qd4 Bxc5
34.Qxc5 Qxe6 35.bxc6 Nbxc6 +/= } 

ts15

Position after 32… Nf5

33.Bf2 {? A serious error which allows me to get back into the game, 
but both of us mis-analyzed the position and missed the finesse at the
end. 33.Bd4 ! Nxd4 34.cxd4 cxb5 35.Bxd5 Bxc5 36.dxc5 Ra7 37.f5
was the correct plan. White's passed pawns and dominating
bishop provide a winning advantage. } 

ts16

Position after 33. Bf2

33... Re8 {? 33...Nh4 ! was the saving plan. I spotted the move, of course, 
but simply didn't date indeed enough into the position. Both players 
saw the same continuation [34.Bxd5 ! cxd5 35.Qxd5 Ra7 ! 36.Bxh4 (but here 
we both failed to spot Rf5 !) 37.Qe4 Bxc5+ 38.Bf2 Qf6 
[38...Bxa3 39.Bxa7 ] 39.Bxc5 Rxc5 40.Rxa5 Rxa5 41.e7 Rc8
42.e8=Q+ Rxe8 43.Qxe8+ Kh7 44.Qxb8 Qxc3 with a difficult but
not hopeless position for Black. } 

ts17

Position after 33… Re8

34.Bb1 {! +- The bishop slips onto the long diagonal and finishes 
off the game.} 

ts18

Position after 34. Bb1

34... Bxc5

35.Bxc5 Nd7 {I allow Emory Tate to finish the game with a
flashy tactic. Why not? He played very well.} 

ts19

Position after 35… Nd7

36.exd7 Rxe5

37.fxe5 {I resigned. My opponent at long last got his revenge
for my upset victory in the 1997 United States Masters.} 1-0

ts20

Position after 37. fxe5

 

Eric Schiller VS Emory Tate Game 1

 


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